Do you and your leadership team ever get bored with your goals? Do you start to feel disconnected from your vision and become overwhelmed by issues you know you need to address? If you do, this is “normal”- it happens in every business. EOS founder Gino Wickman recognized that teams begin to fray every 90 days and this led to the EOS meeting pulse. This includes weekly Level 10 meetings, along with quarterly off sites and one two-day annual meeting. Meeting quarterly allows teams to check-in, address issues and reset to get back on track and aligned with their long term plan.
Our EOS client Antenna is a wonderful example of a team staying true to the meeting pulse – and therefore their vision. Antenna is a marketing consulting and staffing firm providing on-demand resources for companies of all sizes in the Minneapolis market. The company is a leader in bringing top marketing professionals to corporations and non-profits for project-based consulting, interim leadership, and staff augmentation engagements. CEO and Visionary Brendon Schrader started Antenna ten years ago and for the last five years the focus has been on investing in, growing and scaling Antenna. President and Integrator Jennifer Laible joined Antenna four years ago as part of this initiative and their five year vision is to double the size of the business, and expand into a new product or service offering. This growth and desire to reach the next level is what drew Brendon and Jennifer to EOS, and having consistent EOS Quarterly sessions helps the Antenna leadership team address issues while recommitting to the discipline.
As the Antenna team prepares for their Quarterly sessions they feel “a combination of excitement, eagerness and a bit of panic,” says Jennifer. “As the end of the 90 day period is coming up we’re reflecting, did we get our stuff done, what did Sue tell us to do last time, did we do our homework?” The Antenna team starts to anticipate what is ahead, and by the end of the quarter they are tired of their current rocks and are looking forward to the next set of rocks and issues to address. “During the quarter we’ve been compartmentalizing and not looking at those longer term issues,” says Jennifer, “but then we start seeing the other issues around the corner. We start getting antsy about the other things we have to deal with.” The Antenna team understands that “it’s easy to get sloppy,” if they go longer than 90 days without a session. “We know it’s time to refocus and every quarter it’s nice to have that refresh of discipline,” says Jennifer.
Once the team is in the Quarterly session they see the issues they’ve been compartmentalizing all quarter and tackle them. “As we approach our quarterly session we get it down to only having about two issues in our weekly Level 10 Meeting. Then we go into our Quarterly session and always come up with three dozen more,” Jennifer shares. She also finds the check-in at the beginning of the session provides insight into what leadership team members are thinking and feeling. Each member shares what’s working, what’s not, and their expectations for the day; she says this “draws out things that don’t come up during the weekly Level 10 Meetings and leads to really good conversation about issues both good and bad.”
One of the issues the Antenna team solved at their last Quarterly session was an overlap of roles. Reviewing their Accountability Chart in the session allowed them to recognize that they had a number of people doing parts of a job. “We were triaging the symptoms of this issue during our Level 10 Meetings but never got to the root issue. The solution was to add a new seat,” shares Jennifer. Identifying this in the Quarterly was the start of a broader dialogue and gave Antenna “the ability to articulate the new seat, document it and have a structure to share it with the larger Antenna team.”
The Antenna leadership team feels the biggest benefit of EOS has been “the structure, accountability and discipline of working on the issues and outlining the vision.” Jennifer shares that Antenna is “now collectively marching as a team toward a shared vision with a disciplined way to check in on that progress.” As diligent as the Antenna team is, they share that “having Sue as a facilitator has been instrumental as well; we couldn’t do this on our own and hold ourselves to the same discipline.” The Antenna team stays on their 90-day pulse to compartmentalize issues and keep their actions moving forward aligned to their short and long term goals. As the company grows, they reset quarterly with discipline and EOS purity; this has been especially important in the past year as they’ve added two new leadership team members. Antenna stays true to their core focus: “Do work you love.”
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